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Goodwill Industries Essay

1. Describe the three customer types mentioned in the video. What is each customer type looking for when they shop at Goodwill? What is most important to each customer type? The video mentioned 3 specific clientele for Goodwill Industries. The fashion shoppers, the bargain hunters, and the resellers. The Fashion Shoppers are most likely the frequent customers of Goodwill boutiques. Goodwill boutiques sells high end products with lower prices. These shoppers are what the Goodwill merchandisers are targeting when it comes to selling their trendier merchandise. These shoppers are the early adopters of trends and they put more value on style rather than the savings itself. Bargain Hunters are the more common clientele for Goodwill stores.

These are the people that go to the stores with the mindset of getting more for their money. To this clientele, the focus is on how much discount they could get on an item in comparison to getting them from regular stores. They may care about the trends as well, but their focus is more on the psychological factor of getting a deal (buying something that is 80% off for example) rather than getting something that is trendy. Resellers are probably the shrewdest of all three. They are basically a combination of both of the latter customer types with an intent to sell afterwards. They are businessmen or women that understands trends and are also looking for the best deal for it. Resellers traditionally would buy merchandise at deeply discounted prices and then sell them for a profit. They would be the most frequent customers of the Goodwill outlet stores where the items that were not sold on regular stores are sold in bulk for much cheaper prices. Their sole intent is to make a profit, and reselling Goodwill products is their means to do it.

2. What is Goodwill’s value proposition? Is it the same for all customer groups? According to the video, Goodwill’s value proposition is ‘used merchandise in deeply discounted prices’. (Pearson Education, 2013) No, I believe that it varies from customer to customer. A fashion shopper’s bargain would be different from what a bargain hunter would consider a deal. Also according to the video, social values define what we see as a thrift; that is why they cater their stores to appeal to different demographics. 3. How do the four sets of factors affecting consumer behavior affect the buying behavior of Goodwill’s customers? Which of the four sets of factors affecting consumer behavior do you believe most strongly affects consumers’ purchase decisions from Goodwill? The four factors that affects consumer behavior are Cultural, Social, Personal, and Psychological factors.

Each factor has a heavy effect on shaping a consumers buying behavior and so Goodwill makes their stores relevant by making sure to weigh in the most prevalent factor, among these four, based on location. The cultural factor makes it important to fill stores with items that match the culture of the neighborhood in which the store is located. The social factor make sit important to take into consideration consumers’ views of thrift stores. The personal factor makes it important to consider how concerned the target market for a particular store is with timing fashion trends, and the psychological factor makes it important to consider how a buyer’s perception of an item is linked to the item’s price. (Pearson Education, 2013) In my opinion, Cultural factors plays the biggest role in affecting the consumer behavior when it comes to Goodwill stores.

As have been discussed last week, marketing affects the society it is found in and vice versa.If they are to sell products that does not fit the target demographics neighborhood, then the rest of the factors becomes moot. After all, the consumers has to be in the store for any of the other factors to kick in, and being culturally appropriate would greatly help in bringing in consumers. From my own experience as well, I only go inside Goodwill stores if it seem like it would be a safe place for me to buy things. If the place appear too musty, or to unclean, I would not even be tempted to go inside even if they have the best deals in the area.

4. What environmental trend(s) does the video discuss that significantly impacts Goodwill’s performance? What two “metrics” are affected and why does this affect how Goodwill markets its retail goods? The video talks in detail about the challenge of depending on customer situations and economic changes. The success of their whole operation rests on the ever changing economic times; specifically influencing consumer purchasing habits. When the economy goes through a slight recession, it drives customers to the stores. Less money to spend means, budgeting and bargain hunting for consumers, which happens to be the forte of Goodwill stores.

However, if the economy keeps turning bad, the company gets fewer donations. Fewer donations leads to fewer products to sell and fewer movement in the supply line. Some of their stores rely on the constant product cycles to reach their target demographic. Without donations, the cycles slows, stalling every aspect of their operation. These also results in the cutting back of employee hours, which greatly affects their mission to help people reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. (Goodwill Industries International, 2015)

5. How does Goodwill’s recognition of consumer behavior principles affect its marketing mix? It helps them in recognizing trends, leading to better strategies and helps them in optimizing their impact on influencing consumer behavior. First off, they tailor their stores in a way that it is very similar to private retail stores. The products, the way the stores operates, and the way everything is processed are like those of traditional retailers; they set themselves apart with their offering and the experience of shopping in the store itself. (Pearson Education, 2013)

They have boutiques to sell the trendier products, they have outlets to sell items in bulk, and they have an online store as well to reach a global audience. Their prices speak for themselves. They offer very low prices in comparison to regular stores and they make sure that consumers know that they are getting a bargain. All the factors are being considered here: the neighborhood of the store, the perception of thrift stores by that neighborhoods’ populace, the buying power of the consumers, and the discounts that drives them to spend their money there.

Goodwill Industries International (2015) Our Mission
Goodwill: understanding consumer and buyer behavior, produced by Cole Creative Group, Pearson Education (2013)

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